The unique Australian sanctuary, Wildlife Retreat at Taronga is officially open and is only fifteen minutes away from Sydney's CBD. There's a good chance that you'll see a few cute koalas climbing trees right from your bedroom window in the mornings. If not a koala, then you'll definitely see a few red kangaroos hopping and lounging around in the grass below.
There are 62 rooms, and the wildlife retreat itself is extremely environmentally conscious. The lodge is sustainably designed with walkways, which are suspended above the sanctuary. The interiors have been designed by Chada studio (Emirates, One & Only, etc) while Cox Architecture designed this unique building.
The eco-retreat is owned and operated by the non-for-profit Taronga Conservation Society, with rooms that have spectacular views of the harbor. Guests get to have one on one experience with nature as they see animals playing in the treetops - a true wildlife haven. Floor-to-ceiling windows run the length of the rooms, with timber four-post beds and curtains. In the Treetop Suite, one can enjoy a free-standing bathtub with a comfortable sitting area.
Guests can also pick from a range of guided tours to learn more about the sanctuary's native animals and all the dangers they face out in the wild. Afternoon tours begin with an Acknowledgment of Country, and Taronga has worked closely with the local Cammeraaogal custodians to ensure that the experience is integrated with Indigenous culture from beginning to end.
Sanctuary tours are another great way for guests to get to know the local wildlife. Afternoon tours begin with meeting a friendly baby carpet python, weaving then through the sanctuary, past potoroos, wallabies, and red-necked pademelons at feeding time. Koalas snoozing in the trees and echidnas flicking their spaghetti-like tongues. The tours are the best part of your stay at this wildlife retreat, as its an enthusiastic a knowledgeable experience driven by passionate tour guides who really do care for the animals.
Cameron Kerr, CEO of Taronga Zoo said: “For a zoo to remain relevant, it must constantly evolve. Our new Wildlife Retreat at Taronga will deliver truly unique experiences to the people of Sydney, NSW, Australia, and our international visitors. Guests will leave not only rejuvenated but also with the knowledge that their stay has made a meaningful difference to wildlife and its conservation.”
Daybreak tours take guests on a walkabout through the zoo and are also guided through an aviary where they're surrounded by rare Australian birds, red kangaroo habitat, where 'roos peer snootily at human onlookers. The dining experience is also known for having the best views in Sydney, as you peer out across the zoo and harbor to the city and Sydney Harbour Bridge. One can enjoy dishes such as prawns with black mussel and celeriac remoulade, NSW beef fillet with cavolo nero and Hunter Valley shiraz jus and a lemon-myrtle brûlée tart with tonka-bean crème - are you salivating yet?!
Be sure to pop into this wildlife retreat to enjoy all that nature and luxury have to offer. Rates start at AU$790 per night for two adults and include a dining and Taronga Zoo experience.